The key that unlocks the door to a happy marriage is learning to serve your spouse! Most of us would admit that we entered marriage with lofty visions of how happy our spouses would make us. When they did not perform up to our expectations, we experienced disappointment, hurt, and anger. So, we made verbal demands designed to make them feel guilty.
Have you ever said this, "I don't understand how you could do that. You know how it makes me feel." With such statements we try to manipulate their behavior. We try to get what we want. This approach is totally opposite of what Jesus taught. "Whoever wants to be great must be your servant." Is this not the theme of the Christian life? Learning to serve your spouse is the true road to greatness.
In a good marriage, there is no king or queen shouting commands, only servants looking for ways to meet the needs of others. Jesus said to His followers, "You know that those who are rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them...Not so with you. Instead whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant."
History illustrates this truth. The truly great men and women of any age are those who serve others. Thus, the greatest husbands are the greatest servants. The wife who finds greatest fulfillment is the wife who learns to serve. Let me make it practical. Make a list of the ways you served your spouse yesterday. Based on this list, "How great are you?"
Our society has trained us to be assertive, not to be servants.Servant-hood is not a favorite topic for seminars, though it ought to be, for it is the only road to greatness. Here's an idea: Make a list of several things you know that your spouse would like for you to do. Do one of them today, and another tomorrow. Your spouse will in most cases notice your efforts and respond with appreciation... or possible bewilderment. Either way, you're on the right track to becoming great.
Improving Your Serve
If I were asked to give the one key that unlocks a happy marriage I would say 'an attitude of mutual service.' When both the husband and the wife are asking the question, "How may I serve you?" needs will be met. Now, it must be mutual. A submitting, serving wife and a tyrannical, demanding husband will never produce a happy marriage.
A domineering wife and a passive husband will also fail to find marital fulfillment. The husband must learn to serve his wife "as Christ served the church" The wife must serve her husband "as unto the Lord". Mutual service brings mutual joy. Tennis players spend hours each week improving their serve. Shouldn't you do the same for your marriage?
When I was writing my book: The Marriage You've Always Wanted, I discovered these words in Galatians 5, "Serve one another in love." Then Paul warned, "If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." He was writing to the church, but the same applies in marriage.
How many marriages have been destroyed by harsh and condemning words? When we put each other down, we are co-operating with Satan in destroying our marriages. Nothing pleases him more. God's way is "Serve one another in love." Service creates a positive emotional climate where we can talk freely about our struggles and find answers to our problems. Serve your spouse today and watch the climate change.
Adapted from The Marriage You've Always Wanted by Dr. Gary Chapman.
Building Relationships Radio
Saturday, November 13, 2010
"God as Your Provider"
God as Your Provider by Brian Kluth
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